Chemical changes of wood during steaming measured by IR spectroscopy

Robert Nemeth, Callum A.S. Hill, Peter Takats, Laszlo Tolvaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Black locust, poplar and spruce samples were steamed at 80°C and 120°C for 48 hours. IR difference spectra and the CIE Lab colour coordinates were measured for determining the chemical changes caused by the steaming. Steaming at 80°C caused only small changes in both IR spectra and colour. But steaming at 120°C produced intensive colour change and well-visible changes in IR spectra. The guaiacyl lignin in hardwoods underwent slight degradation but in spruce suffered substantial degradation during steaming at 120°C. The syringyl lignin absorbing around 1600 cm-1 did not show any changes, indicating that it is more stable to steaming than guaiacyl lignin. The absorption decrease at 1175 cm-1 indicated the cleavage of ether linkage in cellulose and hemicelluloses at both steaming temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-101
Number of pages7
JournalWood Material Science and Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Hemicelluloses
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Lignin
  • Steaming
  • Wood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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